Derivation of the botanical name:
Quercus, Latin for oak.
ithaburensis,of or from Mount Tabor
aegilops, applied by Theophrastus to a kind of oak with sweet fruit, and by Dioscorides to describe the lachryma fistula, an ulcer in the eye; Latin aegilops, opis and aegilopa, ae for a disease of the eyes, for a kind of oak with edible acorns, for a kind of bulbous plant or for a weed among barley.
The Hebrew name: אלון, alon, properly 'a large strong tree', and like אלה ( = terebinth; oak) derived from אול, oel (= to be strong); related to Akkadian: allanu.
The different Hebrew words used for oak in the Bible (O.T.) are "êl", "êlon", "îlan", "allah", "allôn", and "êlâh" or "âlâhim" (see: pistacia).
- The standard author abbreviation Decne. is used to indicate Joseph Decaisne (1807 – 1882), a French botanist and agronomist.
- The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
See the list of Medicinal herbs in Israel, the parts used and their medical uses to treat various diseases.
Three species of oak are common in Israel: the Quercus calliptinos (coccifera), the Quercus ithaburensis (aegilops), and the Quercus boissierri (infectoria).
The Quercus ithaburensis is a stately deciduous tree, up to 25 m tall and 20 m in crown perimeter. It requires warm winters, what makes that the Tabor oak is limited to lower altitudes, plains and valleys (not higher than 500 m).
The Tabor Oak Forest is limited to the Sharon, Lower Galilee, the Hulah and the Dan Valleys. In the Sharon Plain the oaks were accompanied by a cover of grass similar to a savannah. In the Lower Galilee the oak is very often accompanied by the Styrax officinalis; and in the Hulah-Dan Valley the Pistacia atlantica is the principal coexistant of the Quercus ithaburensis.
They (allon and elon) are the trees wth many citations in the Bible; the oak is associated with the Hebrew word for 'God' - el.
Reverend Henry Baker Tristram (1822 - 1906) writes in 'the National History of the Bible' about the Quercus aegilops, or Valonia Oak: "It is deciduous, and in form of leaf and general appearance and growth is very like our English Oak...It bears veru large acorns, and these are used as food by the Arabs, while the acorn cups are employed by dyers under the name of Valonia, and are largely exported."
In the Scriptures the species of oak are not distinguished from one another:
- Genesis 35:4
So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem.
Genesis 35:3-5 (in Context) Genesis 35 (Whole Chapter)
Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak outside Bethel. So it was named Allon Bakuth.
- Joshua 24:26
And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD.
- Judges 6:11
The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.
- Judges 6:19
Gideon went inside, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.
- 2 Samuel 18:9
Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.
- 2 Samuel 18:10
When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree.”
- 2 Samuel 18:14
Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this for you.” So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree.
- 1 Kings 13:14
and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” “I am,” he replied.
- Psalm 29:9
The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
- Psalm 56:1
[ Psalm 56 ] For the director of music. To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks.” Of David. A miktam. When the Philistines had seized him in Gath. Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack.
- Isaiah 1:29
“You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks in which you have delighted; you will be disgraced because of the gardens that you have chosen.
- Isaiah 1:30
You will be like an oak with fading leaves, like a garden without water.
- Isaiah 2:13
for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan,
- Isaiah 6:13
And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”
- Isaiah 44:14
He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.
- Isaiah 57:5
You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree; you sacrifice your children in the ravines and under the overhanging crags.
- Isaiah 61:3
and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
- Ezekiel 6:13
And they will know that I am the LORD, when their people lie slain among their idols around their altars, on every high hill and on all the mountaintops, under every spreading tree and every leafy oak—places where they offered fragrant incense to all their idols.
- Ezekiel 27:6
Of oaks from Bashan they made your oars; of cypress wood from the coasts of Cyprus they made your deck, adorned with ivory.
- Hosea 4:13
They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar and terebinth, where the shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery.
- Amos 2:9
“Yet I destroyed the Amorites before them, though they were tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks. I destroyed their fruit above and their roots below.
- Zechariah 11:2
Wail, you juniper, for the cedar has fallen; the stately trees are ruined! Wail, oaks of Bashan; the dense forest has been cut down!